How to Rent With Bad Credit

Renting an apartment can easily be problematic when you have bad credit. It is easy to overlook how your credit score can affect the rental process but it does play a major role on whether your rental application gets approved or denied.

Some landlords may refuse because of your blotchy credit even if you have a good rental history and proof of income. Others take a peek at your report to check for evictions or other rental-related issues. The point is you need to prepare for potential hiccups if you have bad credit and are seeking a place to live. Below are some tips that may help you big time.

  1. Check your credit. Find out what potential landlords will see on your credit report. Do you look like an attractive tenant? Check your financial standing with the credit bureaus and look for ways to minimize any negative information. If you spot any errors, fix them now to bump your score a little. If there are unpaid balances, clear them off. A more positive score increases your chances of getting approved.
  2. Find rentals that are disinterested in your credit. Choose to rent apartments owned by individual landlords rather than large property management companies. Most smaller providers do not bother checking your credit and are likely to approve your rental application despite your bad credit, as long as you have a good rental history and solid income.
  3. Ask for a recommendation. Bad credit can be softened by a recommendation from someone vouching for your financial responsibility. Contact people with whom you have had previous financial relations. A reference letter from your previous landlord, bank, or employer can help you get a new apartment.
  4. Prove your income. Solid income will offset your negative credit history. This means an income three or four times larger than the rent. Show your potential landlord a few month’s worth of pay stubs to convince him or her that you can definitely afford the monthly payments.
  5. Pay more upfront. Paying a higher security deposit or between one and three months of rent can improve your chances of securing a new apartment. This may mean saving a few months before looking for a new place but your effort will be worth it when your rental application gets approved even with bad credit.